Caryl Phillips's first novel tells the story of Leila, a nineteen-year-old woman living on a small Caribbean island in the 1950s. Unsatisfied with life on the island, Leila decides to leave her friends and follow her mother overseas, taking her restless husband Michael and her young son with her. Her subsequent passage to England brings her face ...
Caryl Phillips's first novel tells the story of Leila, a nineteen-year-old woman living on a small Caribbean island in the 1950s. Unsatisfied with life on the island, Leila decides to leave her friends and follow her mother overseas, taking her restless husband Michael and her young son with her. Her subsequent passage to England brings her face to face with the consequences of the decisions she has made to determine her life on her own terms.
Marion Dechars (Cover Illustration); Jason Bell (Author's Photo) Like New. 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. 205 pp. Clean, fresh copy with very light shelf wear, crisp pages and clean text. Pages show moderate browning.
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Publishers Weekly, 1990-01-19 Like the Caribbean island it describes, this novel of a young black woman's abandonment of and eventual return to the West Indies at times loses its sense of history, grows complacent in its attitude to suffering. At his best, Phillips ( Higher Ground ) here displays talent for the telling glimpse, for sketching personal meanings of oppression, racism, sexism and poverty. With clarity and deep feeling he depicts a bridegroom's brutality, the shock of a slum tenement, a London street radiating hatred of ``coloureds.'' Rare moments of friendship, pleasure and triumph gleam all the brighter in this dingy atmosphere. But these instances fail to liberate the novel from its yoke pk of repetitious descriptions of familiar tasks and unnecessary summaries of events already described. The author supplies flimsy, unconvincing reasons why Leila, the heroine, should give up a devoted suitor for a man with a genius for abuse, or suffer through lonely months in England without ever speaking to another West Indian woman. Phillips neglects Leila's role in orchestrating her own life, producing instead fragments of experience which do not cohere. (Feb.)
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